Peace of Mind for Thyroid Cancer Patients?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The U.S. National Cancer Institute estimates that 56,460 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2012.
The society of Nuclear Medicine reveals that patients with differentiated thyroid cancer live as long as people in perfect health, unless they are in the minority and have reached the most advanced stages of the disease. Survival did not vary based on age, sex, or even if patients' cancer had reached the beginning of stage IV.
There are different classifications for thyroid cancer, but most cases are considered differentiated, a term given to two forms called papillary and follicular thyroid cancer. There are four stages of the disease increased from stages I through IV. The last stage includes subtypes a, b, and c, however, stage IVb is extremely rare, and as such, no patients with this subtype were included in the study.
Investigators analyzed 1,502 consecutive patients with differentiated thyroid cancer who had been treated with radioiodine therapy. Radioiodine therapy is administered through a capsule or liquid and is used to create iodine in the body for the thyroid to absorb. Only those patients with stage IVc differentiated thyroid cancer were found to have a lower chance of survival than the normal population.
"With these survival rates, patients with differentiated thyroid cancer in stages I-IVa could even be considered healthy patients," Alexis Vrachimis, M.D., lead investigator for the department of nuclear medicine at the University Hospital Muenster, Germany.
Source: The Society of Nuclear Medicine's 59th Annual Meeting, June 2012